December 7, 2018

Amidst reports that the Latin faithful in China are being persecuted more than ever since the signing of a deal between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China, someone called me prophetic. With some reflection, I cannot take on this compliment. It does not describe my process, which simply revolved around not toeing the McCarrick line on bishops’ conferences, especially after he was revealed to be a predator. Instead, as I then wrote on Facebook and now publish here, it… Read more

December 6, 2018

There are basically two reactions that Chinese people have toward the West, which is any imaginative geography constituted by people who can pass for white. The first is complete, dripping, and uncritical admiration to the point of denigrating Chinese culture as completely backward, patriarchal, hierarchical, and despotic and therefore holding back Chinese progress into the modern world. The second is the China Can Say No attitude, which is that the West is a colonizing power that makes Chinese people feel inferior to… Read more

December 5, 2018

After writing my previous post on my unexpected devotion to the Holy Apostle Jude Thaddeus, my brother Julian got in touch. He said that there was something that I probably didn’t know, and that is that St Jude’s Cancer Hospital was founded by Antiochian Christians. I asked him whether he knew if the Antiochians were acting on their own, or in relation to the American Catholic campaign in the Latin Church in the middle of the twentieth century to make… Read more

December 5, 2018

I received a package of icons that I ordered when I was first setting up my icon corner, and in it was a mysterious cardboard print-out that looked iconographic. I had no idea who it was, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t ordered it. I did not know at the time how to search for it on Google Image, so I spent some time looking through icon stores online trying to match name to face. Finally, I found him,… Read more

December 4, 2018

When I announced to my friends that I was getting chrismated in the Kyivan Church in the weeks leading up to it in June 2016, the formula I’d use was that I was seeking communion with the Bishop of Rome through the Church of Kyiv. It wasn’t wrong because that is exactly what happened, but as things go in mystagogy, I now find the formulation a little immature. Perhaps, I reflect, is the apostles on whose day I was chrismated, the… Read more

December 4, 2018

Back when I was an evangelical, a number of my sisters and brothers would refer to me as Jonah. Clearly, they would say, I was called to ordained ministry, and for a time, I even explored that calling. Then after a ministerial disaster during my internship in which both the youth group I started and my New Calvinist theology collapsed at the same time, I supposedly ran from the calling and went to graduate school in geography, never to return… Read more

December 4, 2018

Last night, we did a Reader’s All-Night Vigil service at our mission in Chicago. That is because today is the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. I have to say, it was very mystagogically interesting. We do them this way because there are no services in English for this second of the Twelve Great Feasts offered to our knowledge in our church in this city. It’s just me holding down the fort this time, so I tried… Read more

December 3, 2018

I don’t know how it is for Protestants in communities in which I did not grow up, but in the ones that I have experienced, especially the Cantonese ones, there are basically two zero-sum orientations toward church: gullibility and cynicism. Either one is taken in by all the superstitious nonsense about divine intervention and angelic engagements that floats around in popular practice, or one adopts a cynical skepticism. It would be easy to mistake the cynics as liberals, but they… Read more

December 2, 2018

Speaking of the prayer and social justice spirituality of our Chicago mission, our pastor in Chicago gave me a special gift. He printed out a photo he had taken when our beloved Patriarch Sviatoslav first visited his St Nicholas Eparchy of Chicago. Holding aloft the eparchial icon of the Protecting Mantle of the Mother of God covering St Nicholas Cathedral in her love, he blessed the people. In this way, being under his omophor ultimately means we are under hers… Read more

December 2, 2018

Over the last week, our Chicago mission has been praying through the events in Ukraine for peace and social justice in the world. Our Patriarch asked us to pray each day of the past week for that situation, and recently, our bishop wrote us a pastoral letter calling us as a church to devote ourselves to prayer. In obedience to our hierarchs, we have prayed a different service each night. Unlike the private prayers for which we enter into our… Read more

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